EPT Barcelona 2023: Simon Wiciak Stands Tallest in Main Event!
The dust has settled in Spain’s second biggest city since EPT Barcelona finished, an event which kicked off the 21st of August and lasted 14 days, until the 3rd of September. It would however not be before August 27th until it was time for the prestigious Main Event to begin.
Barcelona has always been a popular stop on the EPT and 2023 showed to be no exception. 2 120 players came to start in the Main Event, and after the final hand was dealt on Sunday, the 30-year old Frenchman Simon Wiciak could reach his arms up to the sky in joy as he had conquered in his first ever EPT Main Event participation.
A Golden Run
Although Wiciak previously may be more known for his achievements on the online poker sites, there is no doubt that he can handle the live poker scene after this achievement. The La Rochelle-native just recently made the decision to play more live poker and his journey through the Main Event was somewhat smooth sailing. After finishing Day 4 as the chip lead, he would then keep the train going and was listed as number one on the chip counts the following three days.
For his win, Wiciak became entitled to €1,134,375 after a three-way ICM chop together with Brazil’s Joao Sydenstricker and Carl Shaw from the United Kingdom. It became clear how much this title means for Wiciak during his post-tournament interview: "It is everything at the same time – the win, the crew, the moment, the work I have done... You want to scream!" was his chosen words before posing with the stellar trophy for the cameras.
Finish With a Flourish
The win came in a somewhat dramatic fashion. Sydenstricker raised from the button with Q 10 and Wiciak decided to 3-bet with 6 5 to four million (blinds 200k/400k). After Sydenstricker decided to call, the flop showed 9 5 2 and the action went bet-call. The turn came 4 and after a check from Wiciak, it was now Sydenstricker who led out for 3,5 million, a bet which Wiciak called fairly quickly.
River 9 paired the board and after Wiciak checked, Sydenstricker went all in with his remaning 20 million as a bluff. Wiciak decided to use a timebank-chip: "I used a time bank. You don't want to be wrong in this kind of situation". After eventually making the call, the joy was overpowering.
The fact that Wiciak now is an EPT champion adds to an already impressive curriculum vitae. Before pursuing poker, the Frenchman had a career as an engineer, and before that, he was a very promising football prospect. There is no reason not to have high expectations on the 30-year old to keep being a big name on the poker scene, as he expressed his love for this “beautiful game”, and it will be exciting to see if he will be a continuous participant on the EPT going forward.
The next EPT stop will see poker history be written as it will be held in Cyprus for the first time ever! The festival will last 11th-22nd of October, with the Main Event having its first flight Monday 16th.
EPT Barcelona 2023 Main Event Final Table Results
|Andre Akkari, PokerStars Ambassador